South Waziristan : The Taliban claimed to shot down the US Drone aircraft Saturday night near Jangara village in the South Waziristan tribal area as Pakistani soldiers battled Taliban fighters in an attempt to seize the debris.
Pakistan first learned of the crash by intercepting Taliban radio communications as the debris was first seized by the Taliban.
Pakistani army sent soldiers in to wrest it out of militant hands several hours later sparking a fight with the Taliban in which three militants were killed and three injured.
The intelligence officials said the troops were successful in seizing the debris, but Pakistani Taliban commander Azmatullah Diwana claimed his fighters repelled the soldiers. The army then sent helicopter gunships into the area where the militants were holding the debris, Diwana told The Associated Press by telephone from an undisclosed location.
Nawab Khan, a government official in South Waziristan, confirmed the drone crash and the subsequent clash between militants and army troops. But he did not know whether the soldiers were successful in seizing the debris.
Neither the Pakistani army nor the US Embassy responded to request for comment.
The US drone campaign is deeply unpopular among the Pakistani public and the government has publicly demanded an end to the attacks.